23. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the review of the conciliation and arbitration scheme; and when it will be completed. (Question 20295/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Conciliation and Arbitration scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force provides a formal mechanism for the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations, that is PDFORRA and RACO, to engage with the Official side.
Having regard to commitments made under pay agreements, members of the Permanent Defence Force can make representations in relation to their pay and conditions of service through their representative bodies. 
T...

34. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of issues concerning Defence Forces pay further to recent media reports regarding submissions to the Public Service Pay Commission. (Question 20294/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 32 and 34 together.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Defence Forces have traditionally been set by reference to, inter alia, relative levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public service. Defence Forces pay is increasing in line with recent public sector pay agreements. The focus of these increases is weighted in favour of those on lower pay. 
Members of the De...

42. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the outlook for tourism in 2018; the performance to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17757/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Tourism Industry)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): After a number of very successful years, indications are that 2018 will prove to be another good year for tourism in Ireland. 
The early signs are promising, with the CSO reporting in its Overseas Travel release that overseas trips to Ireland for the first two months of the year, at almost 1.2 million visits, were up 7.9% on 2017, as follows:
 - Visits from North America were up by 4.2%
 - Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 17.6%...

58. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rebates available to sports clubs in respect of donations made to them by private citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17756/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Sports Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 72 together.
The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The full terms and conditions of the SCP are available on my Department’s website.
The Revenue Commissioners operate a tax relief sc...

393. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Health the number of patient transport taskings being provided to private operators and the HSE’s intermediate care service to and from each of the Saolta hospital group hospitals in each of the years 2015 to 2017, including patient transport taskings for the purposes of dialysis and for outpatient appointments from community nursing homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17701/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Patient Transport Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.
 ...

42. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which the Regional Enterprise Development Fund 2017-2020 will help drive job creation in County Galway and Connaught; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16186/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Regional Development Funding)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) was launched in May 2017. It is a €60 million competitive fund aimed at supporting significant regional initiatives that will build on sectoral strengths and improve enterprise capability across the regions. The REDF is intended to support the ambition, goals, and implementation of the Regional Action Plans for Jobs.
The REDF is aimed at accelerating economic recovery in a...

45. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the progress that has been made in Galway city and county under the regional action plan for jobs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16187/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Regional Action Plan for Jobs)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Since becoming Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I have made jobs and enterprise in the regions my top priority.
The Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative is a central pillar of the Government’s ambition to create 200,000 new jobs by 2020, 135,000 of which are outside of Dublin. A key objective of each of the 8 regional plans is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with ...

106. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs supported by the local enterprise office in Galway city and county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16188/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Local Enterprise Offices Data)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Galway City & County is the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and ‘soft’ supports in the form of training and mentoring to anyone wishing to start or grow a business.
LEO Galway provides a ‘signposting’ service in relation to all relevant state supports available through agencies such as Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, Education and ...

225. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance his plans to reintroduce tax relief on trade union subscriptions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15184/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Reliefs Availability)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 224 and 225 together.
A review of the appropriate treatment for tax purposes of trade union subscriptions and professional body fees was carried out by my Department in 2016 and included in the 2016 report on tax expenditures published on budget day 2016. The review may be found at the following link: (http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2017/Documents/Tax_Expenditures_Report%202016_final.pdf)
The review concluded that
...

42. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the mission of technological universities is to drive regional development and jobs growth and meet the skills needs of the regions. (Question 14280/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Technological Universities)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Technological Universities Act 2018 is a transformative piece of legislation and I am very pleased that it is now enacted. The TU Act underpins the development of a new type of higher education institution, building on the strengths and mission of institutes of technology to develop world class technological universities. 
The mission and vision for each of the individual proposed technological universities will be developed by the c...

69. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps his Department is taking to promote and drive regional development. (Question 14281/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Regional Development Policy)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Education and training has been critical to Ireland’s transformation over recent decades and central to sustaining economic success and building strong communities. My Department will support the measures outlined throughout the National Planning Framework Ireland 2040 which notes that “ Strategic  planning of and investment in the provision of childcare, education and training are central to reinforcing the delivery of sustainable commu...

60. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the contribution being made to Galway city as capital of culture 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9879/18 asked on 28 Feb 2018 - Cultural Policy)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): In December 2014 the Government decided that Ireland should exercise its right to nominate a European Capital of Culture for 2020 and committed in principle at that time to provide €15m to the selected project. 
The Government’s support represents the largest  single contribution to the overall cost of Galway 2020 as the European City of Culture which is €45.7m.  The balance of the funding is sourced from city and county ...

68. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the level of uptake on the new option to receive the fuel allowance in two lump sums, which was announced in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8399/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Fuel Allowance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Fuel allowance is a seasonal means tested payment of €22.50 per week payable from October to April. In 2018, the payment is expected to provide financial assistance to over 338,000 low income households towards their winter energy costs, at an estimated cost of €227.15 million. Only one allowance is paid per household. In October 2017, I was pleased to introduce the option for qualified households to receive their ...

96. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the uptake of paid paternity leave since it was announced; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8400/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Paternity Leave Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Paternity benefit was introduced from 1st September 2016 and provides a payment in respect of two weeks paternity leave to be taken within 26 weeks of the birth of the baby. In the period from the commencement of the scheme up to the end of 2017 a total of 31,071 people have availed of this leave and have been awarded and paid paternity benefit. The table below shows a breakdown by county of paternity benefit claiman...

9. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of the Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way marketing campaign with specific reference to the aim of highlighting ease of direct access from six British gateway cities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7521/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Wild Atlantic Way Project)

Deputy Hildegarde Naughton: The Minister will appreciate that the broadening of access to and the success of the Wild Atlantic Way is of vital importance to the west of Ireland and in that regard I ask him to give details on the Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way marketing campaign.
 ...

78. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rebates available to sports clubs in respect of donations made to them by private citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7520/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Sports Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 78 and 86 together.
In relation to my Department’s engagement with sports clubs, the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the Government’s primary vehicle for the development of sport and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment. The most recent allocations under the Programme were made at the end of last year and full details of thes...

103. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance when forms A and B ceased to be a valid registration form for IIA firms authorised to undertake insurance mediation before the commencement of the European Communities Regulations 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7920/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 to 106, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland (the Bank) that on 15 February 2007, it issued correspondence to firms authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) (IIA) advising them of their requirement to register under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations 2005 (IMR). This registration process involved the completion and submission of an ...

104. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance when form A and B ceased to be valid registration forms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7921/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 to 106, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland (the Bank) that on 15 February 2007, it issued correspondence to firms authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) (IIA) advising them of their requirement to register under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations 2005 (IMR). This registration process involved the completion and submission of an ...

105. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance the number of IIA firms authorised to undertake insurance mediation before the commencement of the IMD regulations; and the firms currently registered and those that were registered with forms A and B. (Question 7922/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 to 106, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland (the Bank) that on 15 February 2007, it issued correspondence to firms authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) (IIA) advising them of their requirement to register under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations 2005 (IMR). This registration process involved the completion and submission of an ...

106. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance the number of IIA firms authorised to undertake insurance mediation before the commencement of the IMD regulations that are currently registered and were registered under the current registration process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7923/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 to 106, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland (the Bank) that on 15 February 2007, it issued correspondence to firms authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) (IIA) advising them of their requirement to register under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations 2005 (IMR). This registration process involved the completion and submission of an ...

107. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Finance the number of regulated financial services providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7924/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Financial Services Sector)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Central Bank of Ireland regulates more than 10,000 firms providing financial services in Ireland and overseas (according to its most recent Annual Performance Report 2016-2017 published in  April 2017, the Central Bank regulates 10,042  firms).  
The types of firms regulated include Brokers/Retail Intermediaries, Bureaux de Change, Credit Institutions, Credit Servicing Firms, Credit Unions, Debt Management Firms, Electronic Money Institutions, F...

204. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Health the number of paramedics that will be hired by the National Ambulance Service in 2018; the number of paramedics due to retire in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7784/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Ambulance Service Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the question raised by the Deputy relates to a service issue, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
 ...

38. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the 2018 TACs and quotas for Ireland’s fishing sector as agreed at the December 2017 Fisheries Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7131/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Fish Quotas)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): After an intensive two days of negotiations, I managed to secure a total package of fish quotas worth €266 million for Irish fisherman for 2018. This included an 8% increase in the value of whitefish quotas leading to a new total of €152 million for the quota. Ireland’s quota for prawns also increased by 15% in 2018, which is the biggest single increase in over a decade and shows the very healthy state of this stock.
The reb...

48. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the efforts being made to safeguard the fishing sector in the context of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7130/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): As I have stated before, fisheries is, and will remain, a high priority for Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.  I am determined to ensure that fisheries remain high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that the interests of Ireland’s fishing communities are fully safeguarded.
In recent months, I have continued to have positive, regular meetings with my European colleagues, especially those from the group of 8 member states whos...

398. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive an operation in University Hospital Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5780/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing...